The Amazing World of Alice in Wonderland


Carroll completed his sequel to Alice while staying at Guildford, and Through the Looking-Glass was published for Christmas 1871, again by Macmillan with illustrations by Tenniel. It was an immediate commercial success.

<em>Wilfred Dodgson of Shropshire: Land Agent</em> by David Lansley 2011 (SHC ref. 920DOD)

Wilfred Dodgson of Shropshire: Land Agent by David Lansley 2011
(SHC ref. 920DOD)


On 18th July 1874, while staying in Guildford to help nurse his cousin and godson Charlie Wilcox, who was ill with a serious lung inflammation, Carroll walked out across the Surrey Downs. He later wrote:

‘I was walking on a hillside, alone, one bright summer day, when suddenly there came into my head one line of verse – one solitary line – “For the Snark was a Boojum, you see.”’

That line became the conclusion of Carroll’s great nonsense poem The Hunting of the Snark. Charles Wilcox died in November of that year; the sad experience of keeping vigil over his young relative may have shaped Carroll’s poem, which ends with a sense of haunting loss and is subtitled ‘An Agony in Eight Fits’.


The Hunting of the Snark by Lewis Carroll, 1899 edition (SHC ref 081CAR)

The Hunting of the Snark by Lewis Carroll, 1899 edition (SHC ref 081CAR)

Publication of The Hunting of the Snark, with illustrations by Henry Holiday.

Carroll’s nephew Charles Hassard Wildred Dodgson was born in 1876, his niece Frances Menella Dodgson was born in 1877, and her sister Violet Eleanor the following year, in 1878, to Carroll’s younger brother Wilfred and his wife Alice Dodson (born Donkin).

Wilfred and Alice had nine children in total, but Frances Menella, Violet and C. H. Wilfred are particularly important to history. F. Menella Dodgson later became executor of the Dodgson Estate, and while some believe that either F. Menella or Violet censored pages from Carroll’s private diaries, evidence now suggests that it was their brother, C.H. Wilfred.

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